You witch me in it;
"Surprise me to the very brink of tears :
Lend me a fool's heart and a woman's eyes,
And I'll beweep these comforts, worthy senators.

1 Sen. Therefore so please thee to return with us,
And of our Athens,—thine and ours,—to take
The captainship, thou shalt be met with thanks,
Allow'd with absolute power, and thy good name
Live with authority :-

:-so soon we shall drive back
Of Alcibiades the approaches wild;
Who, like a boar too savage, doth root up
His country's peace.
2 Sen.

And shakes his threat'ning sword
Against the walls of Athens.
1 Sen.

Therefore, Timon, -
Tim. Well, sir, I will; therefore, I will, sir; thus,-
If Alcibiades kill my countrymen,
Let Alcibiades know this of Timon,
That Timon cares not. But if he sack fair Athens,
And take our goodly aged men by the beards,
Giving our holy virgins to the stain
Of contumelious, beastly, mad-brain'd war;
Then let him know,--and tell him Timon speaks it,
In pity of our aged and our youth,
I cannot choose but tell him that I care not,
And let him tak’t at worst; for their knives care not,

have throats to answer; for myself,
There's not a whittle in the unruly camp
But I do prize it at my love, before
The reverend'st throat in Athens. So I leave you
To the protection of the prosperous gods,
As thieves to keepers.

Stay not, all's in vain.
Tim. Why, I was writing of my epitaph;
It will be seen to-morrow: my long sickness
Of health and living now begins to mend,
And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still;
Be Alcibiades your plague, you his,
And last so long enough!
1 Sen.

We speak in vain.
T'im. But yet I love my country; and am not
One that rejoices in the common wreck,
As common bruit doth put it.
1 Sen.

That's well spoke.
Tim. Commend me to my loving countrymen,- [them.
1 Sen. These words become your lips as they pass thorough

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2 Sen. And enter in our ears like great triumphers
In their applauding gates.

Commend me to them;
And tell them that, to ease them of their griefs,
Their fears of hostile strokes, their aches, losses,
Their pangs of love, with other incident throes
That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain
In life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them,-
I'll teach them to prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.

1 Sen. I like this well; he will return again.
Tim. I have a tree, which grows here in my close,
That mine own use invites me to cut down,
And shortly must I fell it: tell my friends,
Tell Athens, in the sequence of degree,
From high to low throughout, that whoso please
To stop affliction, let him take his halter,
Come hither, ere my tree hath felt the axe,
And hang himself. I pray you, do my greeting. [him.

Flav. Trouble him no further; thus you still shall find

Tim. Come not to me again: but say to Athens,
Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover: thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle. —
Lips, let sour words go by and language end:
What is amiss, plague and infection mend!
Graves only be men's works and death their gain!
Sun, hide thy beams! Timon hath done his reign.

(Retires to his cave.
1 Sen. His discontents are unremovably
Coupled to nature.

2 Sen. Our hope in him is dead: let us return, And strain what other means is left unto us In our dear peril. 1 Sen. It requires swift foot.



SCENE II.-The Walls of Athens.

Enter two Senators and a Messenger.
1 Sen. Thou hast painfully discover'd: are his files
As full as thy report?

I have spoke the least:
Besides, his expedition promises
Present approach.


2 Sen. We stand much hazard if they bring not Timon.
Mess. I met a courier, one mine ancient friend;
Whom, though in general part we were oppos'd,
Yet our old love had a particular force,

And made us speak like friends:-this man was riding
From Alcibiades to Timon's cave

With letters of entreaty, which imported

His fellowship i' the cause against your city,
In part for his sake mov'd.

1 Sen.

Here come our brothers.

Enter Senators from TIMON.

3 Sen. No talk of Timon, nothing of him expect.—
The enemies' drum is heard, and fearful scouring
Doth choke the air with dust: in, and prepare:
Ours is the fall, I fear; our foes the snare.


rude Tomb seen.

Enter a Soldier seeking TIMON.

Sold. By all description this should be the place.
Who's here? speak, ho!-No answer?-What is this?
Timon is dead, who hath outstretch'd his span:
Some beast rear'd this; there does not live a man.
Dead, sure; and this his grave,-what's on this tomb
I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax:
Our captain hath in every figure skill,

An ag'd interpreter, though young in days:
Before proud Athens he's set down by this,
Whose fall the mark of his ambition is.

SCENE IV.-Before the Walls of Athens. Trumpets sound. Enter ALCIBIADES and Forces. Alcib. Sound to this coward and lascivious town Our terrible approach.


[A parley sounded.

Enter Senators on the Walls. Till now you have gone on, and fill'd the time With all licentious measure, making your wills The scope of justice; till now, myself, and such As slept within the shadow of your power,

Have wander'd with our travers'd arms, and breath'd

Our sufferance vainly. Now the time is flush,
When crouching marrow, in the bearer strong,
Cries, of itself, No more: now breathless wrong
Shall sit and pant in your great chairs of ease;
And pursy insolence shall break his wind
With fear and horrid flight.
1 Sen.

Noble and young,
When thy first griefs were but a mere conceit,
Ere thou hadst power or we had cause of fear,
We sent to thee, to give thy rages balm,
To wipe out our ingratitude with loves
Above their quantity.
2 Sen.

So did we woo
Transformed Timon to our city's love,
By humble message and by promis'd means;
We were not all unkind, nor all deserve
The common stroke of war.
1 Sen.

These walls of ours
Were not erected by their hands from whom
You have receiv'd your griefs: nor are they such
That these great towers, trophies, and schools should fall
For private faults in them.
2 Sen.

Nor are they living
Who were the motives that you first went out;
Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess,
Hath broke their hearts. March, noble lord,
Into our city with thy banners spread:
By decimation and a tithed death,
If thy revenges hunger for that food
Which nature loathes,-take thou the destin'd tenth;
And by the hazard of the spotted die
Let die the spotted.
1 Sen.

. All have not offended;
For those that were, it is not square to take,
On those that are, revenges : crimes, like lands,
Are not inherited. Then, dear countryman,
Bring in thy ranks, but leave without thy rage:
Spare thy Athenian cradle, and those kin
Which, in the bluster of thy wrath, must fall
With those that have offended : like a shepherd
Approach the fold and cull the infected forth,
But kill not all together
2 Sen.

What thou wilt,
Thou rather shalt enforce it with thy smile
Than hew to't with thy sword.
I Sen.

Set but thy foot

Against our rampir'd gates and they shall ope;
So thou wilt send thy gentle heart before
To say thou'lt enter friendly.
2 Sen.

Throw thy glove,
Or any token of thine honour else,
That thou wilt use the wars as thy redress,
And not as our confusion, all thy powers
Shall make their harbour in our town till we
Have seal’d thy full desire.

Then there's my glove;
Descend, and open your uncharged ports;
Those enemies of Timon's and mine own,
Whom you yourselves shall set out for reproof,
Fall, and no more: and, -to atone your fears
With my more noble meaning, -not a man
Shall pass his quarter or offend the stream
Of regular justice in your city's bounds,
But shall be render'd to your public laws
At heaviest answer.

'Tis most nobly spoken. Alcib. Descend, and keep your words.

[The Senators descend and open the gates.

Enter a Soldier.
Sol. My noble general, Timon is dead;

hem o' the sea;
And on his grave-stone this insculpture, which
With wax I brought away, whose soft impression
Interprets for my poor ignorance.
Alcib. [reads.] Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched

soul bereft: Seek not my name: a plague consume you wicked caitiffs left! Here lie 1, Timon; who, alive, all living men did hate: Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass, and stay not here thy These well express in thee thy latter spirits :

[gait. Though thou abhorr'dst in us our human griefs, Scorn'dst our brain's flow, and those our droplets which From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead Is noble Timon : of whose memory Hereafter more. --Bring me into your city, And I will use the olive with my sword : Make war breed peace; make peace stint war; make each

; Prescribe to other, as each other's leech. Let our drums strike.


the very

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